• “Veterans for Veterans”, also known as the 70th Division “Trailblazer Old Timers”. Our organization has been in existence for more than 15 years. Throughout our years we have had the opportunity to work with and serve individuals housed as residents at the Veteran’s Hospital; we have assisted in the service of intercity youth programs, partnering with churches and other civic organizations. We support families, both veterans and non-veterans, where there is a need; and during the holiday season, we adopt 5 families to provide gifts for their children.
Prior to the pandemic we have given a total of 42 cash scholarships to high school graduates in the metropolitan Detroit area. An average of 5 students per year benefit from our scholarship program. We have in the past had members who offered mentorship to students through the Detroit Urban League.
As we continue to center our attention on our youth and the challenges that they face, we have identified a major concern regarding middle school age children.
• Where is the need? There are so many Metro-Detroit youth who experience a difficult time in school simply due to their personal needs. They come from homes that have severe financial challenges, and the parents are just not able to send them off to school well fed, adequately dressed; with clean, dry, and warm uniforms or basic clothing.
• After much research we find children arrive at school wearing soiled clothes because that is all that they have. Their personal hygiene is next to none. The teachers and counselors are paying out of their own pockets to provide as much assistance as they can to these children, on a weekly if not daily basis.
In talking to teachers and counselors they are seeing worsening signs of child poverty in their classrooms with pupils coming to school tired, hungry, angry and confused. Many children are wearing dirty and ill-fitting uniforms and suffering from anxiety and behavior issues that affect their learning.
The mission of our organization “Veterans for Veterans” is to assist the counselors and teachers in at least two Metro Detroit public or charter schools in providing some of the critical items for these children. We have identified two public schools that we would like to adopt. Our plan is to supply resource closets in both schools which would provide the students with socks, uniform shirts and pants, coats/jackets, and caps, when the need arises. We would also include many of the personal hygiene products that the counselors regularly must provide.
How will the funds make a difference? These funds will make a difference in the lives of the students and their ability to learn. It would assist the school staff with their out-of-pocket spending. It would allow the teachers more time to focus on the business of teaching. More than anything else it would increase the esteem of the children that are impacted by their situation. Finally, it would create a situation where the children, (which are predominantly children of color), would increase their grade point averages, and look forward to finishing school and seeking higher level education.
• Why this is so important? Our children are our future! We desperately need your support. When you support us, you support our children. We need funds to make this happen.